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Afghan Taliban Announces Spring Offensive

Afghan security forces inspect the site of a blast at a police arms depot in Kandahar on April 21.

The Afghan Taliban has announced that the militant group will launch its annual spring offensive on April 24.

In a statement emailed to media on April 22, the Taliban said it will "launch the spring operations under the inspirational name of 'Azm' (determination) at 5 am on 24th April 2015."

It said the "main targets of these operations" will be "foreign occupiers, especially their permanent military bases...officials of the stooge regime, their military constellations, especially their intelligence, interior ministry, and defense ministry officials."

Afghan security forces are battling the Taliban largely alone following the withdrawal of most foreign combat troops last year.

The new NATO-led mission, launched on January 1, is focused mainly on training of the Afghan security forces.

The mission involves some 12,000 troops, including 9,800 U.S. soldiers.

Based on reporting by AFP and AP